Buzzwords Underscore Changing Marketing Landscape

By Brian Everett, ABC, Chief Executive Officer, Transportation Marketing & Sales Association

As I have conversations with TMSA members and learn about their challenges and opportunities, it continuously remains clear that the buzzwords that surface during those chats underscore that marketing is an ever-changing landscape. 


Some of these terms may become annoying while others may just make it sound like you know what you’re talking about. Either way, I'm writing this blog post to make sure that you stay ahead of the trends. Here are some of the top buzzwords or catch phrases that seem to surface the most.

The Buyer's Journey. This is the framework by which marketing and sales professionals relate to their customers and prospects. It helps them to ultimately attract suspects and prospects, convert them to leads, close business, and retain customers to become your biggest advocates. This concept has become a widespread concept within TMSA circles - and in fact was the theme for the 2017 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference. TMSA continues to use this concept in its educational forums with members. 

Value Exchange. The WIIFM question remains a constant that customers have historically always asked: “What’s in it for me?” Yet, marketers have answered this question with traditional media, but now with the customer's desire for ad-free and cost-free digital content, marketers need to find a new, more compelling response to that question.

Crowd Culture. The new force that describes how digital crowds are driving modern and business culture. This concept is rewriting the rules of branding and it isn’t going away any time soon.

Gamification. Across the transportation and logistics industry, companies are attempting to get their target markets involved and interacting with their brand in a more public way. “Gamification” is the process of turning social interactions into a game, so that the target audience feels more rewarded. This can include giving out offers, prizes, or discounts to the most active followers.
Influencers: Online and social media presence has brought a huge demand for influencers. Using a representative of the target market to sell a product isn’t that new - yet it's being used more heavily by transportation and logistics marketers.

Millennials. This is not a new audience and it's being used way too much. This demographic, along with all other generation descriptions, are overused and ineffective in describing the audience that you're targeting.

Organic. This is not the type of lunch that the hip marketers are eating, but rather the way in which audiences consume content. More and more companies in this industry use this term as a way to reach their target without paid-for intervention.

Innovative means to introduce something new for the first time. Agencies are constantly saying that their idea is innovative, but that’s pretty difficult to achieve. Maybe the idea is new for the client, but rarely is it a new concept.

Optimize. Marketers commonly use this word yet they forget to explain its meaning to their executives. They say that they will optimize a website, blog post, or social media posts, but they don’t explain how this will be done because it can be a very broad or ambiguous term. Make sure to define it in the ways you will be using it so that there is common understanding around the intended goals and results.

Growth Hacking. This is an emerging concept that the TMSA Education Committee has been bantering back and forth as part of its strategy for future education. Don Fridell, Director of Marketing at Kenco and currently Chair of the TMSA Education Committee, has proposed this definition to be inclusive of both marketing and sales: “Growth hacking is a process of rapid, dynamic, and unconventional experimentation across marketing and sales channels to identify the most effective, productive and profitable ways to drive business growth.”

As you continue to network with your business associates and colleagues within the TMSA membership, I encourage you to monitor your own conversations with them and identify new buzzwords. It's a great way to spot emerging trends in the marketing and sales profession! 

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